Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats


ON POLAND'S FRONTIER
The experience of the last five years has taught us only too clearly that
sacrifices made by the Polish nation for the sake of Polish-Russian friendship
merely weaken Poland without diminishing the imperialist tendencies of
Russia. Having convinced itself of the uselessness of the sacrifices made
in 1920;, the Polish nation will in no case agree to unilateral concessions.
For it could not possibly put faith in the permanence of any fresh treaty of
peace or of any new frontier determined by it, if the precedent set by Russia
in unilaterally cancelling the Treaty of Riga and violating the frontier fixed
by it, were allowed to go unchallenged.
In 1920, we left about a million and a half Poles beyond the border, in
the U.S.S.R. Now another million Polish citizens have been deported
beyond the Urals, of whom about 115,000 left Russia in 1942, and are now
in the Polish forces or in settlements for women, children, old people and
other civilians. I hope that not more than one-third of those left behind
have died of want, and that, therefore, about half a million are still alive.
Are we finally to renounce them ? To-day the U.S.S.R. is putting forward
claims to the whole of that part of Poland assigned to it by the Ribbentrop-
Molotov Treaty. This territory was inhabited by 5,274,000 Poles. About
800,000 of these, together with about 200,000 Ukrainians and White
Ruthenians, were deported into the interior of Russia in 1940 and 1941.
The practice of the Soviet Government in the area of eastern Poland which
it occupied from the end of October, 1939, to July, 1941, leaves no room for
doubt that if the present territorial demands of the U.S.S.R. were to be
fulfilled., it would be equivalent to surrendering more than four million
Poles, who were left in the Eastern provinces of Poland after the deportations,
to the most ruthless extermination. If the Polish nation agreed to that, in
truth it would not deserve to survive.
(Grabski, W., The Polish-Soviet Frontier, London, 1943, p. 35-36).
The results of the Moscow and Teheran Conferences and the subsequent
resolutions concerning the territorial changes about to be effected, were
not published and only filtered slowly through the Press. It was a few
months before it became generally known for instance that, after the war
Europe—not only Germany, but all Europe (except, perhaps, the few
neutrals on her outskirts)—was to come under the occupation of the three
Great Powers. The Russians were to stay in Poland, Rumania, Hungary,
Czecho-Slovakia and in Germany as far as the river Oder, or perhaps
the Elbe ; the Americans would occupy Bavaria, Wurtemberg and Saxony
and the British the remainder of Germany. It could not be clearer
—•Poland after the wai was to be in the hands of the Kremlin.
The secret agreements at Moscow and Teheran were explained by the
subsequent policy of the Powers, or rather by the policy of the Soviets.
As previously mentioned, the details of the decisions were still unknown
to tie public, and a general anxiety as to the future of Europe was bound
to arise among those nations concerned. Moscow made the first move
which revealed that she had been able to gain a free hand in Central
Europe, when she concluded a Treaty with Dr. Benes, as c President of
207